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24x7 rescue teams to man wider highway

Round-the-clock patrolling, AC ambulances manned by paramedics, breakdown experts on the go, lay-bys, bus shelters and lavatories — travel between Ranchi and Jamshedpur promises to be a model of highway convenience in the near future.

Hyderabad-based concessionaire Madhucon Projects Limited, which is executing the Rs 1,479-crore four-laning work of NH-33 between the capital and Mohulia near the steel city, has decided on the bevy of amenities to ensure smooth flow of traffic once the revamp is done.

Project officer Uday Kumar said three 24x7 patrol jeeps would be on duty along the 164km NH-33 stretch. While paramedics in three ambulances will be equipped to buffer emergencies and provide life support, if needed, till an accident victim is ferried to the nearest hospital, mobile mechanics in the jeeps will treat vehicles that may develop sudden snags on the highway.

Currently, there is no rapid rescue facility on the NH-33 stretch between Ranchi and Jamshedpur. People injured in accidents, which are not infrequent, are either taken to MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi or Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, and that too without being administered first aid. Kumar said the hi-tech ambulance service would save many a life.

The concessionaire also plans to install emergency telephone booths at a distance of every 10km on the highway stretch. “The booths will have a directory of telephone numbers of local police stations, mobile numbers of uniformed officers and highway patrol unit personnel,” Kumar said.

Among other conveniences are lay-bys for buses and trucks after every 5-6km. “Lay-bys are emergency halt spots along the main carriageway. These will have shelters for commuters as well as lavatories. While the highway will be 30 metres wide after revamp, 15 extra metres have been earmarked on both sides for the amenities,” he added.

On when NH-33 might see such an impressive makeover, the Madhucon official did not commit on a deadline, but said once the four-laning project was over in May 2015.

Widening work of an 82km stretch between Rargaon and Mohulia (near Ghatshila) has already begun on November 12. Construction on the remaining 82km stretch between Ranchi and Rargaon is expected to begin shortly. “A clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forest is expected soon. The project involves 38 hectares of forestland,” an official said.

According to agreement, the concessionaire will have to complete the job within 30 months from November 9. It will manage and maintain the highway for 15 years. Two toll plazas will be set up by the NHAI — one near Rargaon and the other near Mohulia.